No. 6 March 22, 1851
CONDITION OF THE SAINTS ON THE CONTINENT.
The work of God on the continent is going forward quite well. Elders J. Taylor and Lorenzo Snow are on a visit to Liverpool at present, and through them much news from the continent is being received. Elder Taylor was thinking of returning to the Valley this season; but he could not be satisfied with going home, without first seeing the Book of Mormon published also in German, as well as in French, together with seeing the Church established in some corner of that country, namely Germany. An additional number have been baptized in France, with good prospects for yet more. Erastus Snow writes from Copenhagen (Denmark), dated February 19, that half the Book of Mormon is in print, and he believes that the other half will be around May; he says that the elders there are meeting with plenty of opposition to keep things lively, and that about two hundred have been baptized, among which there were two brothers from Iceland, who were about to take the gospel to the land of their birth.
Elder Lorenzo Snow has succeeded in publishing two pamphlets in Piedmont, Italy, which are being diligently distributed by Elder Woodard in that community, and by Elder Stenhouse in Switzerland. In Piedmont, on the 24th of February, brother Woodard baptized two young men, and the next morning he baptized ten others, who are all strong in the faith, and send their greetings to the British Saints. Their greetings are as follows:—“1. Let us meet together when the earth is renewed. 2. Pray for a young sister who desires to grow in grace. 3. Absent in the body, but one in the spirit. 4. Hallelujah, the Lord remembered his people. 5. If we do not meet in these bodies, let us embrace one another in the resurrection. [An old brother 62 years old.] 6. In the midst of weakness, I hope for strength. 7. Pray for a poor brother. 8. May we be crowned with glory when the world is judged.” The other brothers and sisters send the following:—“We thank our heavenly Father that we have begun to walk on the way to a new and endless life.”
The spirit of inquiry is continually on the increase. Many thought that the labor spent in that country would be in vain; but that is not how it went. Brother Snow is determined to establish the Church of Christ in those countries on a solid foundation, namely the rock of revelation. He is about to begin to translate and publish the Book of Mormon in the Italian language, and he intends to finish it without delay. After this book is once published in the Danish, Italian, French, and German languages, and the Church is established among these various countries, the people who inhabit the western side of this eastern continent will be informed of the doctrines of the gospel, as was explained by the Prophet Joseph, in their own languages.
TESTAMENTS OF THE TWELVE PATRIARCHS, NAMELY THE SONS OF JACOB
[Continued from page 81.]
TESTAMENT OF JUDAH,
Made to his children at his death, concerning Valiantness, Covetousness, and Fornication.
Brave, remarkable Judah’s advice,
Is to keep away from avarice,
Drunkenness, wantonness, and prostitution,
Because this kills the strongest.
The copy of all the sayings of Judah, which he spake unto his children at the time of his death; when they were come together before him he said unto them, I was my father’s fourth son, and my mother called me Judah, saying, I thank the Lord for that he hath given me a fourth son.
I was swift of foot and painful in my youth, and obeyed my father in all things, and blessed my mother and my mother and her sisters: and when I came unto man’s estate, my father Jacob prayed over me, saying, Thou shalt be a king and prosperous in all things. Behold, God gave me grace in all my works both abroad, and at home.
Upon a time I saw a hind, and ran after her, and caught her and made good meat of her for my father.
Also I outran the roes, and overtook all things in the fields, insomuch that I caught a wild mare, and tamed her.
I plucked a kid out of the mouth of a bear, and taking him by the paw, overthrew him.
I rent asunder all wild beasts that turned upon me, as if I had been a dog.
I encountered with a wild boar, and overrunning him, tare him in pieces.
And in Hebron, a lion leapt upon a dog, and I catching him by the tail, flung him away by and by, and he broke asunder.
In the borders of Gath, a wild bull was feeding in the fields, and I took him up by the horns and swinged him about, and finally killed him.
There came two kings of the Canaanites armed upon our flock, and much people with them; and I alone, running unto the flock, stepped to king Sur, and striking up his legs, overthrew him, and so slew him.
Also I killed another king named Thapes, sitting on his horse, and so scattered all their people.
I overtook king Achor, the giant, on horseback shooting forward and backward, and throwing a stone of twoscore pound weight upon his horse, I overthrew him and killed him; and fighting two hours with Achor, at length I clave his shield and maimed his feet and finally slew him; as I was pulling off his breastplate, behold eight of his friends assailed me; whereupon, I filled my hands with stones and flinging them at them with a sling, slew four of them, and put the other four to flight.
Also our father Jacob slew the giant Beelisa king of all the kings, who was mighty and huge, of the stature of twelve cubits: be reason whereof fear fell upon them, and they left their fighting against us.
For this cause, my father was careful of me when I was in battle with my brethren: he saw in a vision concerning me; that the angel of strength followed me everywhere to the intent I should not be overcome. The second handsel was a greater battle to us than that which we had at Sichem; insomuch that in fighting valiantly with my brethren I chased a thousand men, and slew of them two hundred persons and four of their kings, and following after them, scaled the walls of their city, and there slew two kings more; and so we delivered Hebron, and led them all away as prisoners.
Then the next day we went to a strong, walled, unapproachable city, called Areca, which threatened to kill us, but I and Gad went to the east side of the city, and Reuben and Levi unto the west and south side, and they that stood upon the walls, supposing there had been no more but Gad and me, did set fire upon us, while in the meantime my brother, that lay secretly in wait, brake out upon the other two sides of them, and scaling the walls with ladders, we won the city from our enemies, and thus we won it by the sword, and set fire upon the tower, and burnt it up with such as were fled into it.
As we returned, the men of Thaffie lay in wait for our prey, and took it with our children, but we followed them to Thaffie and slew them, and burned their city, spoiling all that was in it.
And while I was at the waters of Gureba, we fell upon the men of Jobel, that came against us in battle, and slew and spoiled both them, and also their accomplices, that came to their aid from Selon, so as we gave them no respite to return again upon us.
The fifth day after there came men from Machir to fetch away our prisoners, whom we met in battle, notwithstanding that they were a mighty host, and slew them before they could get up to the place that they came from; and when we came to their city, their women tumbled down stones upon us from the top of the hill, whereon their city stood, but I and Simeon coasting to the back side of the town, got unto the higher places and destroyed the whole city.
The next day it was told us that two kings and their entire cities, came against us, with a huge host; I therefore and Dan feigning ourselves to be Amortheans, and fellows with them, went into their city, and taking the entrances in the dead time of the night, did set the gates wide open to our brethren that came after us, by means whereof we destroyed them and all that they had; and when we had sacked the city, we did cast down the three walls thereof.
Then went we to Thamus, which was the refuge of all the kings for their wars; where being angry for a hurt that I took, I charged upon those that stood above me, but they threw down stones out of slings upon me, and shot arrows at me, and had killed me but that my brother Dan rescued me; therefore, we came running upon them in a rage, and put them all to fl , and they passing by another way went to my father, and humbly sued for peace, and he made a covenant with them, so as we did them not any more harm; but we received them into league with us, and delivered them all their prisoners. I then builded Chamma, and my father builded Rambahel.
Twenty years old was I when this war was made; and the Canaanites were afraid of me, and my brethren.
And I had much cattle; and my chief herdsman was Yran of Ocellam, in whose company I saw Bersa king of Odelam, who made us a feast, and with much intreatance, gave me his daughter Berthusa to wife, which brought me forth Er, Onan, and Selah; but two of these three God slew childless; and Selah lived, of whom some of you be the children.
But my father and we made eighteen years of peace with his brother Esau and his children. And when the eighteen years were past, after our coming out of Mesopotamia, in the fortieth year of my life, Esau our father’s brother came upon us with a great, strong host, but he was slain by the bow of Jacob, and conveyed away dead unto mount Seir; we also followed upon the children of Esau, but his city was very strong with high walls, and gates of Iron and brass so as we could not enter into it; howbeit we did shut them up within it, and besieged it. Now when they showed not themselves abroad in twenty days together, I put my helmet upon my head and in the sight of them all set up a ladder, and scaling the walls, slew four of their noble men with a stone of the weight of three talents; the next day Reuben and Gad went and slew threescore others; then they offered peace, and we by our father’s advice, received them into tribute, and they gave us two hundred quarters of corn, five hundred vats of oil, and a thousand and five hundred measures of wine; until we went down into Egypt.
After this my son Er married Tamar, of Mesopotamia, the daughter of Aram; but Er was a very wicked imp, and doubted much of Tamar, because she was not of the land of Canaan: therefore, the angel of the Lord slew him the third night after his marriage, when he had not yet accompanied with her, by reason of his mother’s subtlety, and so died in his naughtiness, for he was loathe that he should have had any children by her.
But when Onan was marriageable, I gave Tamar unto him; and he likewise of a spite accompanied not with her, notwithstanding he lived two full years with her, and when I threatened him, then he companied with her; but yet by his mother’s commandment he let his seed fall upon the ground, and so also he died in his wickedness.
I minded to have given her unto Selah also, but my wife Bethusa would not suffer me, for she spited Tamar, because she was not of the daughters of Canaan as herself was.
Now I knew the offspring of Canaan was mischievous; but yet did youthful fancy blind my heart, and as I beheld her pouring out wine, I was deceived with drunkenness, and fell in love with her.
Upon a time while I was away, she married Selah to a woman of Canaan: which her deed when I understood, I cursed her in the bitterness of my soul, and so she died in the wickedness of her sons. At two years after these things, as I went to shear my sheep,
Tamar decking herself like a bride, set her down at the gate of the city; for it was the custom of the Amorites, that their brides do set themselves forth at the gates of their cities, by the space of 7 days together, to be abused by fornication; I therefore being drunken with the waters of Horeb, knew her not, by reason of wine, insomuch that her beauty together with the attire in decking of herself deceived me, and thereupon, turning aside unto her, I said, Shall I come in unto thee? And she answered, What wilt thou give me? And I gave her my staff, and my girdle, and the crown of my kingdom; upon my company with her, she conceived: afterward, I not knowing myself to have been the doer thereof, would have put her to death for it, but she having kept my pledges in store, shamed me with them; and when I had heard my own words of her in secret, which I had spoken to her when I lay with her in my drunkenness, I could not put her to death, because it was of the Lord’s doing; but I touched her not any more to my dying day; for when I had done this abomination in Israel, lest she might work wiles with me, I said I would fetch my pledges again of her; but when I enquired for her, the townsmen said there was no bride in the city, because she came from another place, and had sat there but a little while, and she deemed that no man knew of my going in unto her.
Afterward we came into Egypt to Joseph, because of the dearth: six and forty years old when I when we came hither, and threescore and thirteen years have I lived here.
And now, my sons, hear me your father in all things that I charge you withal, and keep you all my sayings, in doing all manner of righteousness before the Lord, and in obeying the commandments of the Lord God, and walk not after your own lusts, nor after conceits of your own minds, in the pride of your hearts; neither glory in the works of the strength of your youth, because it is sinful in the sight of the Lord.
For inasmuch as I gloried in my battles, and upbraided my brother Reuben with Bilhahh, my father’s wife, because no face of any beautiful woman had yet deceived me; therefore, the spirit of fondness and fornication fell upon me, so that I was overtaken both in Bethsue, the Canaanite, and in Tamar, the wife of my own son’s. And I said unto my father-in-law, I have made my father privy to the matter, and therefore I will take thy daughter to my wife.
Hereupon he showed me an infinite mass of gold in his daughter’s behalf; for he was a king; and decking her with gold, and pearl, willed her to pour out wine to us at the supper.
The beauty of the woman, and the wine together, dazzled mine eyes, and voluptuousness did so darken mine understanding, that I fell in love with her, and brake the commandment of the God of my fathers, and took her to wife, according to the intent of my heart. But the Lord paid me home for that: for I had no joy of the children that I had by her.
Now, therefore, my children, be not drunken with wine, for wine turneth a man’s understanding away from the truth, and kindleth in him the fire of lust, leading his eyes into error; inasmuch as wine is a servant of the spirit of lechery, to further the feeding of the mind with voluptuousness, and so these twain bereave a man of all power: for if a man drink wine till he be drunken, he traineth his mind unto the filthy thoughts of lechery, and kindleth the body to carnal copulation; and if desired occasion is obtained, sin is wrought without shame: such a thing is wine, my sons, for a drunken man is ashamed of nothing.
Behold, it made both me and Tamar do amiss, so as I blushed not at the multitude in the city, but went aside unto her in the sight of all men, and committed a great sin in discovering the unclean privities of my own sons.
Through drinking wine I was not ashamed to break God’s commandment, in taking a woman of Canaan to wife.
Wherefore, my sons, he that drinketh wine had need of discretion, and the discretion that every man ought to use in drinking of wine is that he be ashamed to overdrink himself; for if he pass that bound, he forgetteth his understanding, and cleaveth to the spirit of error which causeth the drunken man to talk filthily, and to do wickedly and not to be ashamed, but to boast of his lewdness, thinking it to be good.
He that committeth whoredom, is bereft of his liberty, and becometh a bondslave of lechery, and cannot get out of it again, after the same manner that I was made naked: for I gave over my staff, that is to say, the mainstay of my tribe; and my girdle, that is, my power; and my crown, that is, the glory of my kingdom. Howbeit repenting these things, I forbare all wine and flesh unto mine old age, and was utterly unacquainted with all mirth.
And the angel of God showed me, that women should from time to time overmaster all men, as well kings as captives, and bereave great men of their glory; for the poverty of a poor man is a greater fence to him than is the strength of a mighty man.
Therefore, my children, keep measure in drinking, for there are in it four poison spirits that is to wit, of Concupiscence, of Heartburning, of Lechery, and Filthy gain.
If ye drink wine merrily, in the fear of the Lord, with shamefastness, ye shall live: but if ye drink without regard of shame and fear of God, then ye turneth it to drunkenness, and dishonestly stealeth in.
And if ye drink none at all, then shall ye not sin, neither in slanderous words, nor in quarrelling, nor in railing, nor in breach of God’s commandments, neither shall ye perish before your time: for wine discloseth the secrets of God and man unto strangers, like as I revealed the secrets of God and of my father Jacob to Bethsue the Canaanite, which God hath forbidden to be disclosed. Also wine is a cause of war and sedition.
Moreover, my sons, I charge you love not money, nor look upon the beauty of women; for money and womanly beauty made me to overshoot myself in Bethsue the Canaanite. And I am sure that these two things shall corrupt mine offspring, and mar the wise men of my lineage, and hurt the kingdom of Judah, which God hath given me for obeying my father; for I never repined at my father Jacob’s commandments, but did whatsoever he willed me.
And Abraham, the father of my fathers, blessed me to fight for Israel and so he did bless me likewise: and I know that the kingdom shall stand by me.
But I read in the book of Enoch the righteous, that ye shall work wickedness in the latter days.
Therefore, my children, keep yourselves from lechery and covetousness and give ear unto your father Judah; for those things withdraw men from God’s law, and blind the understanding of their minds, and teach them a pride; neither suffer they any man to show mercy to his neighbor: they bereave his soul of all good things, and hold it down in pains and sorrows; also they disappoint him of his rest and sleep and consume his flesh: finally, they hinder God’s sacrifices, neglect his blessings; disobey the speaking of the prophets, and are offended at the word of godliness; for these two passions are contrary to the commandments of God; and he that serveth them, cannot obey God, because they dazzle men’s minds, and walk abroad as well at nights as of days.
My children, covetousness leadeth men to idolatry. For through doting upon money, he calleth them gods, which are not, and compelleth the infected to grow most vilely out of kind money’s sake I lost my children, and the penance of the flesh, and the humiliation of my soul, and had not the prayers of my father been, I had died as now without children. But the God of my fathers, being merciful, and full of pity and compassion, knew that I sinned through ignorance, for the prince of error had blinded me, and I overshot myself, as a fleshly man, and being corrupted with sin, knew not mine own infirmity, but thought myself to be invincible.
Know ye therefore my sons, that two spirits do wait upon a man, that is to wit, the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error; and in the midst between them is set the spirit of understanding of the mind, whose property is to incline which way it listeth. The things that belong both to truth and untruth are written in the breast of man, and God knoweth every whit of it, and none of all men’s works can be hidden at any time from him, because all the privities and secrets of men’s hearts are written before the Lord, and the spirit of truth beareth witness of all things; and accuseth all, and he that sineth hath a burning in his heart, and cannot lift up his face to his Judge.
And now my children, love ye Levi, that ye may abide, and exalt not yourselves above him, lest ye perish. The Lord hath given unto me the kingdom, and unto Levi the priesthood, and hath put the kingdom under the priesthood. Unto me he hath given the things that are upon the earth, and unto him the things that are in heaven. As far as the heaven surmounteth the earth, so far doth the priesthood surmount the kingdom that is upon the earth. For the Lord hath chosen him above me, to approach unto him, and to eat of his table, and to take the firstlings of the children of Israel, and thou shalt be as a sea to him; for like as in the sea both the righteous and unrighteous are in danger, and the one sort are caught prisoners, and the other sort are enriched: even so shall all kind of men be hazarded in thee, some sinking in misery, and the other some floating in prosperity. For in thee shall reign great whales, which shall swallow up men as fishes, and bring free men’s sons and daughters into bondage; they shall take away men’s houses, lands, cattle, and money by force, and they shall feed ravens and other greedy fowls, and many from the flesh of the flock wrongfully; and they shall prosper and flourish in naughtiness, and be exalted through covetousness; and there shall be false prophets like storms, which shall persecute all righteous men; but the Lord shall set them together by the ears among themselves, and there shall be continual wars in Israel, and my kingdom shall be knit up in strangers, till the Savior of Israel come, even till the coming of the God of righteousness, that Jacob and all nations, may rest in peace, and he shall maintain my kingdom in peace forever. For the Lord hath sworn to me, that the kingdom of me, and of my seed, shall never fail worlds without end.
But I am very sorry, my children, for the filthiness, and treachery, and idolatry, which ye shall work against the kingdom, by following witches and conjurers, by bowing your daughters to deceitful devils, by making them enchanters, charmers, and strumpets, and by intermeddling yourselves with the abominations of the heathen, for the which things the Lord shall bring upon you a famine, and pestilence, death and the sword, wrathful besiegement and devouring dogs, reproach of friends and foes, loss and pain of eyes, slaughter of your children, ravishings of wives, spoil of your goods, the burning of your temple, the desolation of your country, and the captivity of yourselves among all Nations which shall geld some of you to make eunuchs for their wives. But if ye return to the Lord with hearty repentance, and humility, and walk in all the commandments of God, he will visit you with mercy, and lovingly deliver you from the bondage of your enemies.
After this shall rise among you a Star out of Jacob, and a Man shall spring, out of my seed; which shall walk as the Sun of righteousness among the children of men, in peace and meekness, and righteousness, and no sin shall be found in him. The heavens shall open upon him, to pour out the spirit of blessedness upon him, from the Father; and he shall shed out the spirit of grace upon you, and you shall be his children in truth, walking in his first and last commandments. This is the offspring of the most high God, and the wellspring of life to all flesh.
Then, shall the scepter of my kingdom shine bright, and out of your root shall spring the vessel of planting, in whom shall grow up the rod of righteousness unto the Gentiles, to judge, and save all such as call upon him.
After this, shall Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob rise up again to life, and I and the princes, my brethren, shall be your scepter in Israel: Levi first, I next, Joseph the third, Benjamin the fourth, Simeon the fifth, Issachar the sixth, and so all the rest. And the Lord hath blessed us, saying Levi shall be the messenger of my presence; Simeon, the power of my glory; Reuben, heaven; Issachar, the earth; Zebulon, the sea; Joseph, the mountains; Benjamin, the tabernacle; Dan, the lights; Naphtali, the dainties; Gad, the day sun; and Asher, an olive tree, and there shall be one people of the Lord.
And there shall be no more the false spirit of Belial, because he shall be cast into endless fire.
They that are buried in sorrow, shall rise in joy.
And they that were poor, for the Lord’s sake, shall be made rich. They that suffered penury, shall have plenty.
And they that were weak, shall be made strong.
They that died for the Lord’s sake, shall wake up unto life, and run in Jacob; yea, they shall run skipping and leaping, and they shall fly as eagles for joy.
But the ungodly shall be sorrowful, and the sinners shall mourn; and all people shall glorify the Lord forever.
Therefore, my children, keep all the law of the Lord; for there is hope for all such as walk aright.
A hundred and nineteen years old is my age, and behold I die in your sight.
Let none of you bury me in costly clothes, nor rip my belly, for so will rulers do; but carry me back into Hebron with you.
With these words, Judah died; and his children doing in all things as he commanded them, buried him with his fathers in Hebron.
(To be continued.)
QUOTATION FROM THE "GREAT FIRST CAUSE, OR THE SELF-MOVING FORCES OF THE UNIVERSE." BY ORSON PRATT, A. C.
1 .—that there must be an endless duration and a boundless space are necessary truths which cannot possibly be conceived to be otherwise than they are. These are necessary truths, whether any being exist to conceive them as such or not. Indeed, if there were no being in existence, the same unalterable and unchangeable necessity would characterize these truths. Endless space and duration cannot be created nor annihilated by any being, but their continuance has been and must be eternal. These truths do not admit of being proved, for that which has no beginning cannot be preceded by a cause, and where no cause exists, there cannot possibly be any foundation for reasoning. There can be no reason why space and duration are as they are, and yet we perceive a necessity for them to be as they are.
2 .—That things exist in space, is a truth, though we cannot conceive it to be a necessary truth: for we can conceive of unoccupied space; indeed, we know, because of the phenomena of motion among things, that there must be space not occupied; otherwise, there would be no room for motion among bodies, and space would be filled with a boundless solid, and incapable of any change of place among its parts. The motion, therefore, of things proves that a part of space is unoccupied. If we conceive a part of space to be unoccupied by substance, we can as easily conceive of all space to be empty and void: therefore the existence of things in space, though a truth, is not a necessary truth. We can conceive of Space as containing either nothing or something: we can conceive it, either as containing one thing or an infinity of things: we can conceive it as empty, or partially occupied, or wholly filled. There is an infinite number of quantities of substance between nothing and an infinite boundless solid; and we can conceive either of these quantities as occupying space. We cannot conceive any necessity why one of these quantities should exist rather than another. We perceive that we ourselves exist, and that things exist external to ourselves, but we perceive no necessity for our own existence, or for the existence of anything else. Therefore, the existence of things in space, and the quantity of things in space, are not conceived to be what they are by any irresistible necessity such as characterizes our conceptions of space and duration. No one can conceive of the non-existence of space and duration, but everyone can conceive of the non-existence of things in space, or of the existence of any supposed quantity from nothing to infinity. The first are truths of necessity, the second are truths perceived to be what they are without perceiving any necessity for their being as they are: these may be termed contingent truths.
1 .—Admitting the contingent truth, that something now exists in space, as nothing cannot produce something, therefore, it follows, as a necessary truth, that something must have always existed in space. Each part of this eternal something must occupy a finite space, having length, breadth, thickness, and figure. To occupy space, it must be solid, but solidity is only another name for matter; therefore, this eternal something must be matter. That which has no extension, nor parts, no relation to space and duration, is called immateriality, which is the negative of all existence, or merely another name for nothing.*
2 .—Having proved, from the fact, that something now exists;, that something must have always existed, let us next enquire, Have all substances eternally existed? Upon this subject, mankind are divided. One class assumes that part of the substances in space were created out of nothing by the other part which they are irresistibly compelled to believe is eternal. The other class believe all substances to be eternal. We shall now proceed to show that the creation of one part of substance from nothing by another part, cannot be established by any necessity, experience, reason, analogy, or divine revelation.
First: The creation of a part of matter is not a necessary truth, for we can conceive of the eternal existence of all matter, as easily as we can conceive of the eternal existence of a part of matter. All the ancient schools of philosophy conceived every substance to be eternal; and it was not until modern times, that men conjectured otherwise. As has been already stated, we can conceive of space entirely devoid of matter, which shows that the existence of all things in space, though a truth, is not a necessary truth. If the very existence of all substances be not a necessary, but only a contingent truth, surely, the beginning of existence or creation of any one substance cannot be conceived as a necessary truth.
Secondly: The creation of one part of substance by another; is not an experimental truth. No man has ever perceived any one substance created from nothing by another. In all the varied operations of nature, we perceive no creations nor annihilations: we only perceive changes wrought upon that which already exists. Therefore, no man can know from experience, that the creation of something from nothing is a truth.
Thirdly: Creation from nothing is not a truth derived from reason. All deductive reasoning is founded upon certain fundamental or first truths, called axioms or definitions; but there are no such first truths or axioms in relation to a creation from nothing; therefore, there can be no foundation or starting point from which we can commence a process of deductive reasoning to establish any such event. All inductive reasoning is that process by which we ascend from particular truths to those of a higher order and of a more general nature. Now, there is nothing in the particular truths of nature which indicates the creation of any of her substances from nothing; hence, no such event can be established or inferred from induction. Therefore, creation from nothing is not a truth derived from reason.
Fourthly: The creation for substance from nothing is not a truth founded on analogy. Analogical reasoning is that process by which we infer that one event or thing may be true, because some other similar event or thing is known to be true. Now, we know of no event or thing to be true which resembles, in the least, the creation of substance from nothing, therefore, there is no analogy for such an event.
Fifthly: The creation of something from nothing is not a truth founded on divine revelation. We learn from the revealed truths, which God has been pleased to give to man, that the sun, moon, stars, heavens, earth, and all things were created by him, but we nowhere learn in those sacred oracles that any one of these things were created from nothing. The original words rendered in our language create and make are synonymous terms, signifying, as we have every reason to believe, the formation of things out of the original elements; at least, we are nowhere informed in revelation, that these words had any other meaning. It has been said that as God created all things, and as elements are things, therefore he must have created them also. But if all the elements be included among the things created, then the Deity must have created the elements, or parts of which he himself consists, which would be the very height of absurdity, for it would suppose him to exist and not to exist at the same time, hence the phrase “all things” cannot mean the elements, but only the “all things” that are created of the elements. Therefore, the creation of something from nothing is not a truth founded on divine revelation. If, therefore, the creation of one part of substance from nothing cannot be established by necessity, experience, reason, analogy, nor divine revelation, it cannot be a truth, or at least, we have no means left by which we can determine, or even infer that it is a truth, and it should be treated as a wild speculation, or vague conjecture, without the least shadow of foundation.
1 .—As there is no evidence whatever in favor of the creation of any substance, we are justified in believing that the elements of every substance existed eternally. We can trace back the history of the earth for about six thousand years, or to the period of its formation. During this time countless millions of organizations, both vegetable and animal, have been constantly taking place. But in every case which has come under observation, the beings, organized, have been made out of pre-existing elements. In the mineral kingdom, a vast variety of new compounds have been formed, but in every instance that has come under the inspection of man, these compounds have been made from something, and not from nothing. All the miracles since the creation, that have been wrought by the power of God, have been operations upon materials already existing. God has not, since the history of man, created any new elements, and exhibited them as a testimony that such an event is possible. When our Lord made wine at the wedding feast, it was not necessary to create it from nothing; he required the vessels first to be filled with water, after which he created or made the wine, which he could easily do by miraculously combining other ingredients or elements that already existed in great abundance. When he fed the multitudes with bread and fish, it was not necessary to make these compounds from nothing; when every element which enters into their constitution, existed plentifully all around him.
[The above treatise in its entirety will be available before our next issue, for two pence and a halfpenny, and not two pence, as we wrongly estimated in our last issue.—Ed.]
LONGING FOR ZION.
O Zion, O Zion, I sing in joy,
When will I see thy splendor and glory With thy crystal waters running so pure,
And the beautiful green herbs, scenting through thy land.
Home, home, dear, dear home,
When shall I see thee, O Zion, my home?
Sweet sounds of the pleasant birds sounds through thy skies, Singing together to praise our Head;
I imagine hearing their melodious sound,
And the trees, and the green grass, joining in praise.
Home, home, dear, dear home, Here I long for Zion, dear home.
Far away in the west, I shall dwell, There is true love, and unity, ’tis true;
And lovely valleys are like the garden of Eden,
Replete with all riches,—their sight will be glorious. Home, home, dear home,
When shall I go to Zion, dear home?
O, blessed Zion, I truly love thee,
When may I walk your bounteous, dear land, With the prophets, and the sentinels in throngs? O, delightful Zion, thou art my country.
Home, home, dear, dear home,
Twil be lovely to dwell in Zion, dear home.
When shall I rest, without oppressed, or tyranny, In the land of promise? O, that is my quest;
And with the living prophets, and patriarchs,
In the land of my dear fathers, who were courageous for God?
Home, home, dear, dear home,
When shall I see thee, O Zion, my home.
How long shall I stay, O, say, with no place,
In the land of captivity, far from my dear home? I await my turn to go to Joseph and his seed,
And there with loud voice, shall I praise my Father!
Home, home, dear, dear home,
O, my prayer is to go to Zion, dear home.
Tre-Sior. Thomas Harries.
SIFTING.—Lately, near Merthyr, some persecuting Baptist was maligning some of the Saints, because of their religion; and finally, clutching his bag of food, and swinging it around his head, he said, “I shall sift you.” In response, the oldest of the Saints observed, “Behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith faileth not.”
DRUNKENNESS—Drunkenness is a sin about which even the sober pagans are ashamed of. The Spartans taught their children to despise it, by showing them a drunkard, on whom they gazed as if he were a monster. Even Epicurus himself, he who believed that happiness is contained in pleasure, was yet a temperate man, as Cicero testified of him.
THINKING well is no better than dreaming well,—acting well is what perfects behavior; for as virtue is the glory of action, so acting is the life of virtue.
It is said that there is pleasure in madness, which is known to all but the mad; certainly there is shame in idleness, which perhaps no one comprehends besides the idle.
A big man will not trample a worm, nor will he hide from a king.
The translation of the “Great First Cause,” by O. Pratt, has swollen to a price of two-and-a-half pence, and will be ready within about a week.
“Dream,” by President Phillips, will appear in our next issue.
We wish for the Districts and the Branches to do their best with regard to paying us, since it is impossible for us to carry forth our work without payment. More than half the money for the last quarter is still unpaid, and another quarter will come due in the next TrumPet. Indeed, since the last quarter, our payments to others have nearly doubled the payments of others to us, and that is not counting the profit that must yet be paid to the Church. This wearies our spirit in the midst of hard labor to supply the country with words of eternal life.
Payments from March 7 to March 20.—Caernarvon, £1 13s; Pontytypridd, 14s 6c; Llantrisant, 11½c; Aberdare, £2 3s; Georgetown, £1; Merthyr, £1 12s.
Send all correspondence, requests, and book payments, to John Davis, Printer, John’s Street, Georgetown, Merthyr Tydfil.
JOHN DAVIS, PRINTER, MERTHYR TYDFIL